The Pimm’s Cup

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Pimms Cup

I love summer cocktails, mostly because there is such an array of pretty ones to mix up and serve to my friends. I find a signature cocktail is a fun way to begin a dinner party on a festive note. The Pimm’s Cup has to be “the” quintessential English summer libation and a perfect warm weather cocktail. This is a terrific cocktail for July 4th – double or triple it, accordingly, for a crowd.

Inspired by a gorgeous photo of a Pimm’s in a summer issue of Bon Appetit last year, I mixed up a batch, working on an eye-catching garnish. This is a deceptively strong cocktail, so I took a hint from BA and added some ginger beer, my favorite British soft drink. You can substitute sparkling water for the ginger beer, adding just a teaspoon of super-fine sugar.

I used cucumber, the classic Pimm’s garnish, and added some herbs from the garden as well. ย My orange thyme was in flower and the pineapple mint needed pruning. I only wish my Tuscan rosemary had been blooming. Have fun concocting your own version.

Many thanks to Laura of Family Spice for her patient, helpful and inspirational photo tips.

TIP: Buy Pimm’s No. 1, a fruit and herb-infused gin, at most liquor stores. It is a little price-y, about $20, but you can store the opened bottle in your liquor cupboard until your next summer happy hour.

The Pimm's Cup
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
The quintessential English summer cocktail, the Pimm's Cup.
  • 1 3-inch piece English cucumber, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ¾ cup Pimm's No. 1
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
  • ice cubes
  • 2 sprigs each fresh thyme, mint and rosemary
  • 2 Meyer lemon slices
  • chilled ginger beer
  • cucumber spears, thyme, mint and rosemary sprigs (garnishes)
  1. Place cucumber pieces in a cocktail shaker and mash with the end of a wooden spoon.
  2. Add Pimm's and lemon juice.
  3. Fill 2 tall glasses with ice and set aside.
  4. Add ice to Pimm's mixture, cover and shake for 20 seconds. Strain and pour into 2 glasses.
  5. Add some ice cubes, then a lemon slice and finish with more ice.
  6. Top off each glass with ginger beer.
  7. Garnish and serve.


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24 Responses to The Pimm’s Cup

  1. Laura @ Family Spice July 3, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    Okay, now I have to get some Pimm’s and see what the fuss is about! Looks great, Liz! Glad I could help and you were able to understand my ramblings!

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Of course – see my cheesecloth?

  2. Toni Palafox July 3, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    we may have to include this in one of our Fabulous Fridays

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Oh, I hope you do – Mission Hills Liquor sells the Pimm’s #1…Happy 4th!

  3. SallyBR July 3, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I’ve never had this drink… seems pretty amazing, but I suppose if I had a full drink someone would have to dial 911 ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      they go down very easily…

  4. Jayne July 3, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Great photo Liz! Looks very summery, I especially like the herb finish.

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

      Do you enjoy them in London, Jayne?

      • Jayne July 5, 2013 at 11:14 am #

        Pimms is very popular here but not sure if the way it’s served is the same as a Pimms cup. I’ve only tried Pimms once, years ago at the Chelsea flower show.

        • Liz July 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

          Interesting – will have to research, Jayne – enjoy the weekend.

  5. Lynda - TasteFood July 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Liz, that photo is fantastic. I want to drink this right now!

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

      Wish I could serve you one, Lynda.

  6. Wendy Read July 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Liz! Great photo my friend ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the white on white, really brings the drink out. I have never made one of these and I really must make one considering my hubby is a brit….we’ll see. I have a houseful right now for the 4th and I am enjoying it for a change!

    • Liz July 3, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Hope you enjoy the holiday, Wendy, and try the cocktail…

  7. TheWimpyVegetarian July 6, 2013 at 10:53 am #

    This is the perfect summer drink! I haven’t had one in years, and used to LOVE them. I love the look of your recipe and will make these this week!!

    • Liz July 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      They were fun to make – and fun to sip on, of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. Oui, Chef July 7, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    This is one of the all-time classic summer cocktails. Haven’t had one for years, thanks for reminding me how beautiful they are. PIMMS is on the shopping list!

    • Liz July 8, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Great, Steve – I’m sure you will come up with a creative garnish –

  9. Lisa @ Whisk & Cleaver July 9, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Lovely photo Liz! And the drink sounds so refreshing. I might have to try it for our next jazz in the park picnic. Happy summer!

    • Liz July 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

      Thanks, Lisa – hope to see you soon.

  10. sippitysup July 9, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    We are drowning in Sunshine in Los Angeles. I’d call that Pimm’s weather. GREg

    • Liz July 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      Ditto, plus it’s humid – perfect Pimm’s weather indeed.

  11. Caitlin July 13, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Oh my gosh! It has been TOO long since I had a Pimm’s Cup! Thanks for sharing, Liz! It looks amazing. Ahh how I miss Pimm’s.

    • Liz July 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      Come on over – I have half a bottle of Pimm’s in our fridge ๐Ÿ˜‰

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